So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Everyone said he was a bad man, but at the time, I found their remarks confusing. I was a vibrant 5-year-old who loved her daddy unconditionally. With a smile as bright as the sun, and an eagerness that wouldn’t quit, I defended his honor any time it was of question. I thought the world of him, and I didn’t see where he lacked.

He was amazing in my eyes.

He could build things, fix things. Most of all, he could make things feel better. It tore me apart that he was gone all the time. I was usually aware when he was away, but I figured my dad just worked a lot. There were times when he would be gone for weeks, returning home with a shoddy excuse. I didn’t care, I was just glad he was back. I just knew I missed him so much while he was gone.

Upon arrival, he would open the front door, and my whole face would light up. I would shoot up from wherever I was, and dart right into his arms. If I were lucky, he would stay long enough to put me to bed. Sometimes he would even sing, “My Little Sunshine,” as I tried to fall asleep. Sure enough, as quickly as he appeared, he vanished; leaving me to discover his absence come morning. He was predictable in this way .

I honestly had no understanding of my dad’s addictions for the longest time. While I had heard people discussing it, at 5-years-old, I had no idea what they meant. All I knew is I wished he had just stayed a little longer.
By 6 years old my parents were divorced and I had visitation with him every other weekend. He would pick up my brother and I sober, and the first place we would stop he would buy a 20 pack of Budweiser. I could identify the density of beer that was on my dad’s breath on any given weekend.

I remember hating it.

When he drank, he would always breathe heavy through his nose. His exhale would ignite the scent of putrid beer on his tongue, expelling the stench into the air. He would lean in to kiss me on the forehead, and I would turn away out of fear the stench would be stuck on my face.

I remember asking my mom why my dad drank, but even she didn’t know, she just wished he would stop. I felt like anytime I wanted to spend time with him, or suggested something we could do together, he would find some excuse as to why he couldn’t. I began to feel like he had something better to do.
I began to feel like I wasn’t enough.

What had I done wrong to cause my favorite person in the world to avoid being with me? I just wanted to be near him, I didn’t understand. Had I upset him? Was he embarrassed of me? I went through a whole list of what could have been wrong with me to have caused him to treat me this way.

I tried harder. I could be better.

I remember trying so hard to impress my dad, thinking if I sparked his interest, maybe then I would be worthy. I smiled bigger, ran faster, did my chores, and then some. Still nothing. I couldn’t help but blame myself for the response I got from my father, although, it never was my fault. I used to pray my hardest at night, that god would forgive my father and make him a better man. At least well enough to enjoy time with me.

I last saw my dad when I was 7-years-old. I hate to remind myself of that day, but I do remember it fully. I remember looking into his eyes and seeing the shell of a man he had become. It took years for me to understand, but eventually I realized, there was nothing wrong with me.

I will always be more than enough.

It was he who was lacking, taking the irreplaceable for granted. Seriously. While some may think I resent him, I don’t. I may die never understanding who he was, or why he behaved that way. But when it comes to my father, I have no unanswered questions. In his presence and absence, he has taught me what kind of parent I want to be.

If you ask me? I don’t want to miss a thing.

All I know is when my son asks if I will watch him play with his Hot Wheels, I will jump at the opportunity. Deep down, I  know it means the world to him. It boosts his confidence, and let’s him show off his cool stuff! The best part? He gets to feel important, even if only for a little bit. Having experienced the defeating feeling of being let down, that would be the last thing I would want for any of my kids.

When we play with our children we show them how proud we are to call them our own. We demonstrate our amazement at how much they’ve learned and grown. We encourage them to reach higher! Why? Because they know, if they fall, we will be there to catch them.

I hope the next time you get the temptation to decline a child’s invitation to play, you remember the impact you have on their pride and self-esteem. Know that even 5 minutes will give them enough glory to keep them feeling awesome much longer than you’d expect.

Lacey Burch

I'm your typical desert mom; surrounded by cacti, while navigating the treacherous landscape called parenthood. I'm always up for a good challenge and making new connections with those who enjoy expanding their mind just as I do. My most over-used statement would have to be,"Life is too short to settle."I am definitely a work in progress, but who isn't, right?

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

My Broken Heart Has Questions, But Jesus Is the Answer

In: Grief, Living, Loss

We celebrated 90 years of my beautiful grandma today. It was lovely and lonely all at once because we lost my grandpa just one week ago and celebrating without him sitting next to Grandma at the table made all our hearts ache. She celebrated the last 70 birthdays by his side. But it was lovely because marking her milestone matters. Heaping blessings upon her and wishing her joy in the coming year was just as important today as it would have been if Grandpa was still sitting next to her, holding her hand in the gentle way he always did....

Keep Reading